You know Frank Salemme was one of the big hit men during the gang wars of the 1960s in Boston according to both him and his buddy Stevie Flemmi. Both men were indicted for blowing up an attorney’s automobile. They fled the area. Flemmi was caught in New York City by FBI Agent John Connolly, returned to Boston, incarcerated in Walpole prison for 16 years, and finally released in the late 1980s. He eventually became the leader of the New England Mafia. Not a nice guy by any definition of that word.
He testified against Agent Connolly at his trial in 2002. He blamed Connolly for him having been shot at a Pancake House in Saugus. He testified Flemmi told him the gangsters were paying money to Connolly; he testified that he gave Flemmi money to give to Connolly; and he said he got information from Flemmi which Flemmi said came from Connolly. Pretty good information that Connolly is corrupt to any juror who is paying attention.
He said he met Connolly at the Prudential Center in 1994. It was the first time he’d seen him since he arrested him. Connolly who was then working for Boston Edison invited him up to his office. He went there a day or two later. Connolly told him about a book he was writing. He also said Connolly told him the indictments were not yet out but that he would notify Stevie Flemmi when they were coming down. Not only is he corrupt, a juror would think but he is certainly reckless telling the head of the Mafia something like that.
Salemme said he went back to meet him again. He then said he went away for a while in case the indictments came down. W he came back he went to see Flemmi who told him they had still not come down. He then said he was called on January 5, 1995, by his wife who told him to come to his house. When he got there he met Flemmi. He said Flemmi told him the indictments were coming down on January 10th. He then fled.
He also testified that after he was arrested and while in jail hearings were held before Judge Wolf. He said Flemmi testified at those hearings. Flemmi told him he was going to blame FBI Agent Morris for some of the things Agent Connolly had done because Connolly told him to do that. This was the only evidence that Connolly had Flemmi falsely testify.
In deciding whether Salemme’s testimony was important to the case it is necessary to look at the charges on which Connolly stood convicted. One under the RICO charge related to his time as an FBI agent. He was convicted of one count of giving $1,000 in a case of wine from Whitey to Agent Morris. No question Salemme’s testimony suggesting Connolly’s corruptness aided that finding.
Under the RICO charge two of the other four convictions related to obstruction of justice by telling Bulger and Flemmi when the indictments were coming down, one related to having Flemmi testify falsely, and the other to sending a letter to Judge Wolf. One of those relied totally on Salemme’s testimony and two others were supported by it. Even the authorship of the letter was buttressed by Salemme since he said Flemmi told him Connolly was going to help them out.
Of the other three substantive counts on which he was convicted, one related directly to Salemme’s testimony which was causing Flemmi to testify falsely and the other to the letter to Judge Wolf.
There is no way to get away from a determination that Salemme’s testimony played a major role in Connolly’s convictions. It bore directly on one issue and heavily on others. If Connolly is the rogue that Salemme painted, how can it be said that Salemme perjuring himself in any way at Connolly’s trial was an unimportant factor for the jury to consider. That’s what Federal Appeals Court Judge Selya wrote. (to be continued)
NOTE: Starting next week I will keep this blog to issues surrounding the Whitey saga and other criminal related matters. My discussions of foreign affairs and other issues I find important will be on my related site: www.hubgab.com – On Monday the first post there is: We Will Weary of War As Our Real Enemies Strengthen?
Also: My Dad’s birthday is today.